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The Short, Rainbow-Colored Bridge From Injured Pride To Pride Parades

, , , , | Right | July 25, 2011

(A customer and his son approach the counter. Note that the son is no more than eleven or twelve years old.)

Customer: “Hey, my son has something to ask you.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer’s son: “Will you wanna go out with me?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Come on, it’s his first time asking a girl out! If you turn him down, he might get discouraged and go gay. You don’t want to turn him gay, do you?!”

A Pressing Issue

, , , | Right | September 7, 2010

(The customer has a standard flip phone that she wants to program.)

Me: “Okay, let’s try the automated system first, and if that doesn’t work, we will do it manually. Please dial *228, press send, and when the automated voice comes on, press 1.”

(In the background, I can hear the customer dialing, and the voice coming on. No response from the customer.)

Me: “Just press the button on your keypad that has the number ‘1’ on it, then some music will start.”

Customer: “Okay, now, how do I press ‘1’?”

Me: “Just press the button marked ‘1.’”

Customer: “No! I know there’s a button marked ‘1.’ What I’m asking is how do I press it?”

Sleeping On The Job

| Working | February 5, 2014

(My daughter is scheduled to have corrective surgery on her eyes. I come straight from work to pick her up, knowing she will be on heavy drugs to help with pain and anxiety. I go to the office where my daughter has told me to wait.)

Me: “Hi. I’m here to wait for [Daughter]. She should be going into surgery about now.”

Receptionist: “Oh, okay! Come wait in here.”

(I am guided into a completely different office.)

Receptionist: *to nurse* “Is [Daughter] here?”

Nurse: “Yep, she just went back for surgery.”

(I sit and wait with my seven-year-old son for an hour and a quarter. I’m starting to wonder why it’s taking so long, but remember my daughter had warned it could be close to two hours. I decide to keep waiting, when I look up and realize the staff are putting on their coats and turning out the lights to leave.)

Receptionist: *noticing me* “Oh, are you still waiting for [Not My Daughter’s Name]?”

Me: “No, I’m waiting for [Daughter]. Is she almost done?”

Receptionist: “Oh. She left.”

Me: “What?! Where did she go?!”

Receptionist: “Umm… [Nurse], is this lady’s daughter in surgery?”

Nurse: “Nope, everyone is gone.”

Receptionist: “Sorry, ma’am. I don’t know where she went. You’ll have to leave so we can close up.”

Me: “She’s on heavy drugs! I’m not going anywhere until you find her!”

(I try to stay calm so I don’t panic my son, but start thinking of everything that could have possibly happened to my daughter and where she could have gone. The receptionist goes into the back and grabs the doctor.)

Doctor: “What’s the problem?”

Me: “I’ve been waiting in here for an hour and a half for my daughter. She just had surgery, she’s heavily drugged, and you let her walk out of here completely alone?”

Doctor: “You should have been waiting at [first office I went to]. I’m not responsible for what happens to her after surgery. Get out so we can go home.”

Me: “I am not leaving until you find my daughter!”

(I am stunned and furious. The doctor and receptionist glare at me as I stand there in the middle of the office and refuse to move while two nurses are sent off to search for my daughter. They come back five minutes later, without her.)

Nurse: “Found her!”

Me: “What? Then where is she?”

(My daughter stumbled in behind the nurses, clearly struggling to stay awake and unable to form a clear sentence. I barely managed to get her down to the car before she completely passed out, with no apology from anyone at the office. I found out later that they had thrown her out immediately after surgery, not bothering to ask if anyone was coming to pick her up or if she had a ride. She had been waiting in the building lobby, six floors down, for 45 minutes when the nurses found her half asleep on a couch!)

Stared To Death

| Right | May 29, 2013

(I’m a regular at a small bookstore that a kindly old lady opened some years ago. We’ve been friends for as long as I’ve known her, and chat when there are no customers around. I walk up to the counter and see her talking to a woman in her late fifties. I’m an Emo, though uncharacteristically cheerful at the moment. I wear black, causal clothes most of the time.)

Me: “Good day, how’s it going?”

(She notices me, smiles, but motions me to move. Realizing I butted into their conversation, I sheepishly back away so they can continue. The customer is staring at me with her mouth wide open.)

Me: “Umm…”

(My friend and I exchange looks. I don’t believe she understands what’s going on either.)

Me: “I’m sorry; is something wrong?”

(The customer doesn’t answer or react in any way, and just keeps staring for what feels like minutes.)

Me: “…is there something on me?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Lady?”

Customer: “…”

(My friend seems worried as she observes our rather one-sided conversation. I’m starting to get annoyed, and a little scared.)

Me: “It’s impolite to stare at others, you know.”

Customer: “…”

(At this point it occurs to me she could have issues with my hairstyle. I pull my bang aside, but nothing changes.)

Me: “Okay, what?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “What is it?!”

My Friend: “Ah, I know! It’s because you’re wearing black! She thinks you’re attending a funeral, and since you were so happy—”

(The customer immediately snaps out of it and confirms this. She actually thinks I am happy because someone died. After five years, we still talk about the woman whom my fashion statement sent into catatonia, and my friend, the store owner, who’s apparently psychic.)

Sweet (Tea) Out Of (Pot) Luck

, , , , | Right | December 24, 2009

(We are having our annual Christmas party/potluck dinner one Sunday night at our fast food restaurant. I’ve placed signs showing we are closed and have blocked off the drive-thru. One of my fellow employees notices a man standing at the counter.)

Me: “Hi, sir, can I help you with something?”

Customer: “I have been standing here for five minutes and I haven’t been helped! Give me a number one with a sweet tea.”

Me: “Well, we are closed on Sundays. This is our Christmas Party.”

Customer: “Closed? All the lights are on!”

Me: “Yes, we need them for the party.”

Customer: “I have never heard of such a thing. So I can’t get that number one?”

Me: “No, sir. All of our machines are off. We are closed.”

Customer: “What about a sweet tea?”

Me: “Sir, we are closed. We don’t have anything we can give to customers.”

(The customer sees our buffet-style employee potluck.)

Customer: “Well, can I get a plate?”

This story is part of the Christmas Day roundup!

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Read the Christmas Day roundup!